Accor has signed a management agreement to operate its luxury brand Sofitel as the new ICC Hotel when it opens in 2017 in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.
Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour is part of the NSW Government’s $2.5 billion transformation of Darling Harbour, which includes the creation of Sydney’s new convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct.
“Australia is becoming a hot spot for international luxury brands and the increasing number of ultra-high net-worth individuals. Foreign capital, higher disposable incomes and independent Chinese travellers are fuelling the growth, and in recent months, Australia has seen strong demand from offshore investors for 5-star hotel assets. Financial institutions from leading economies such as Abu Dhabi, Korea and Singapore have been acquiring hotels in Sydney, driven by the huge potential in the Australian luxury market,” Accor Pacific Chief Operating Officer, Simon McGrath said.
Property and infrastructure group Lend Lease and Australian hotel owner, Dr. Jerry Schwartz, signed the conditional agreement to purchase the ICC Hotel, to be developed by Lend Lease this morning.
”We will also be seeking the rights to establish a helipad on the top of the Sofitel to allow more direct access to the precinct. Such helipads are available in cities like New York and London, and it will significantly benefit Sydney’s business and convention profile to have a helipad developed at Darling Harbour,” Mr Schwartz said.
“We believe that the new Darling Harbour precinct will be one of the world’s most exciting urban renaissance projects with the new ICC Sydney and the upgrades to the neighbouring Pyrmont, Ultimo and Haymarket districts set to make Darling Harbour a first-choice destination for business, convention and leisure travellers,” Mr Schwartz said.
Construction of the 35-storey hotel will commence later this year, and due for completion in the second quarter of 2017. The group said it would feature “a unique and instantly recognisable architectural design” with around 600 rooms to support the new ICC Sydney and the city’s growing accommodation requirements.
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